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#105342 - 02/26/04 11:06 AM Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
I agree with Bruce Lee when he said "Kata is pointless, when learning to fight". " Its like learning how to swim on the sand".

I don't think Kata has any purpose when you are trying to defend yourself. If an attacker throws a left hook at you, you are not gonna break out into chunji or dosan etc...

BR

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#105343 - 02/26/04 11:14 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2805
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
Brian,

Though there is some truth in your statement... your post shows that you are completely ingorant with regards to the true purpose of kata.

Below is an exerpt of what I had sent a fellow poster on this forum regarding kata... enjoy:

Kata is an encyclopedia of techniques (in all ranges of combat), anatomical human weak points and fighting principles. A way of transferring a fighting system from one person to the next. I suppose the best way to describe it would be a mnemonic device. A perfect example would be the mnemonic on how to perform certain calculations when given a complex and multiple mathematical equation to solve PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. This mnemonic refers to the order at which each math component must be handled. You start with P – parenthesis. Anything within parenthesis must be solved first. Then next step would be to look for which numbers are associated with E – exponentials. The order then follows Multiplication, Division, Addition, and finally Subtraction. BTW… Can you tell I’m an auditor LOL. This is true with kata. The similarity being (without being too technique specific) you grab this way and turn that way and your opponent’s body turns or off balances that way which then can be followed up with technique X… But if Technique X is unavailable for some reason or does not make sense then move on to technique R or Z or Q… what ever fits the particular combative equation you are trying to ‘solve’. The techniques in kata are not meant to be interpreted in the specific sequence. Although many of the most efficient applications are done in sequence you can mix and match (both techniques and foot work) to fit your current and erratic situation. This is the essential blue print.

I know where you could go with this. This is modern times and kata was only needed when illiteracy was running rampant in the ancient times. Now in the modern days we have access to video recorders, books, and even the unholy internet. Because of this is kata still necessary? My opinion is yes. Videos, books, and the internet or indeed good tools but are two dimensional. We, being human beings, are 3 dimensional and live in a 3 dimensional world. We need something 3 dimensional to better understand it and make it part of your own natural reflexes. Though books and videos are good they are…. As you put it just thoughts and theory. Unless you apply these techniques on a consistent basis and turn the thought into knowing and the theory into reality you will never get to any real self-defense skill or fighting ability. With kata you are forcing yourself to actually do the techniques rather than just think about them.

kata alone does not make one a fighter nor will it by itself. A fact that many will try to deny but it’s the truth. From the blue print you must then lay the foundation. The foundation would refer to bag drills, strength/cardio training, timing drills, foot work drills. The structure is then built referring to sparring and applying the techniques against a resistant opponent.

Ciao,

Raul

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#105344 - 02/26/04 12:20 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
Raul thank you for your input, but not trying to sound "ignorant". If Kata is so important in teaching a person how to fight, then why don't Boxers or Muay Thai fighters have Kata.

Im not saying that Kata does not have its place, Im saying it wont teach you how to be a fighter!!

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#105345 - 02/26/04 02:36 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
sunspots Offline
oldtimer/newbie
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 650
Loc: Southern Oregon, USA
Kata can also teach you concentration, self-discipline, smooth movement, and footwork, all of which are needed in self-defense situations.

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#105346 - 02/26/04 02:38 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
Raul thank you for your input, but not trying to sound "ignorant". If Kata is so important in teaching a person how to fight, then why don't Boxers or Muay Thai fighters have Kata.

Im not saying that Kata does not have its place, Im saying it wont teach you how to be a fighter!!
[/QUOTE]

They do, they just call it shadow work.

JohnL

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#105347 - 02/26/04 02:43 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
A "kata" can be seen as any prearrange routine. There are many of them in all fighting arts. They are called combinations. The key is how you train them and how you can apply them. I assume all of those who are against prearranged movements such as kata never practice a set combination of strikes, right?

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#105348 - 02/26/04 03:10 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
So you all are saying that self defense sets and one-steps are "kata", give me a break. Shadow work is NOT kata, hitting a heavy bag is NOT kata.

Kata is much different than learning a selfdefense vs a grab,choke,kick,punch etc...!
Can you "picture" yourself defending against a grab,choke,kick,punch etc while doing a Kata?? Yes, But we do not train vs these typs of attacks by doing kata. we learn how to defend doing one-steps and self defense etc..

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#105349 - 02/26/04 03:57 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
So you all are saying that self defense sets and one-steps are "kata", give me a break. Shadow work is NOT kata, hitting a heavy bag is NOT kata.

Kata is much different than learning a selfdefense vs a grab,choke,kick,punch etc...!
Can you "picture" yourself defending against a grab,choke,kick,punch etc while doing a Kata?? Yes, But we do not train vs these typs of attacks by doing kata. we learn how to defend doing one-steps and self defense etc..
[/QUOTE]

If you truly mean what you said, then your training must be crap.

JohnL

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#105350 - 02/26/04 04:02 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
Kata is much different than learning a selfdefense vs a grab,choke,kick,punch etc...!

Who taught you kata? They must yhave been crap!

Don't start with the bun kai is blocking and punching three guys in a solar plexuses, and they wait for yo and move to m ove nine after you have kiaied and killed them.

Can you picture yourself defending against a grab,choke,kick,punch etc while doing a Kata??

Not the WHOLE kata!

But we do not train vs these typs of attacks by doing kata.

Oh yes we do. grabs, all of the time. Chokes and hold yes. kicks, and less frequently pucnhes.

we learn how to defend doing one-steps and self defense etc..

A word on slef defense...it should be integrated to your kata....and on one step ... do not use prearrenged attacks and defenses, only as to learn new moves. Do not use rigid stances and modify your blocks so that hit, hit before they do, or trap, parry and strike. Tai sabaki and creative finishing moves are the key to acheiving realistic self defense and fighting, and to bear fruit in actually developing you selkf defense to a highler level.

(Hint; train self defense with a bouncer. Use principles of Tae Kwon, Karate, Aikido and paticularly Okinawan and Kyoikushinkai/Ahihara.)

IMPORTANT: Spend some money dude.
http://www.koryu-uchinadi.com/
www.dragonsociety.com/
www.dillman.com/

More importantly, begin to analyse kata yourself. Some aikido/hapkido instruction can help.

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#105351 - 02/26/04 07:49 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
First of all my training is not crap.

Second i understand "bunkai" in kata, I understand that their are self defense moves and all of your techniques are in the kata.

With that said, when a new student comes into a dojo, you, me anyone, we are not gonna start teaching that student how to defend against a punch,kick,etc...by showing him/her a particular kata/form. we are gonna start with a simple parry block for example followed by a knee kick ( or something)!

It is'nt usually later in our martial arts journey that we start learning the answers to all our kata questions. we learn that self defense tehniques are in the kata/form.

What I was originally trying to say was when it comes down to brass tax, if you train to be a fighter, kata's are not important. again I say boxers do not do kata.
Yes they "shadow box" but so do karateka. when we as martial artist "shadow box", we don't call it "kata". when a boxer hits a heavy bag, You don't look at him and say hey he is doing kata so and so!!! He is training for power, just like we do when we kick and punch bags.

Please all of you "kata Guys" don't be offended. ButI say again if Kata was so important to be a great fighter then Bruce Lee would have held it in higher regard.

Brian

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#105352 - 02/26/04 09:12 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
What kind of self defense moves are contained in your kata - escapes from chokes, throws, finishing moves, locks, or the one step sparring crap rearranged?

Bruce Lee certainly would have been a better martail artist and fighter if he practiced Koryu kata practice. He thought he didn't need grappling, but Gene Le Belle changed that idea.

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#105353 - 02/27/04 03:53 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2805
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
Raul thank you for your input, but not trying to sound "ignorant". If Kata is so important in teaching a person how to fight, then why don't Boxers or Muay Thai fighters have Kata.

Im not saying that Kata does not have its place, Im saying it wont teach you how to be a fighter!!
[/QUOTE]

Brian, Brian, Brian....

did you honestly read my entire post or did you skim?

Raul

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#105354 - 02/27/04 07:12 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
PETER Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 239
1


[This message has been edited by PETER (edited 03-09-2004).]

[This message has been edited by PETER (edited 03-09-2004).]

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#105355 - 02/27/04 08:52 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Sorry, but you need to practice Kata. No one ever said it was for defense. Any true Martial Artist will agree. Bruce Lee? Please do some research and read what our true MA ancestor have to say about Kata. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/rolleyes.gif[/IMG]


Bonzai

[This message has been edited by schanne (edited 02-27-2004).]

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#105356 - 02/27/04 09:56 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by schanne:
Sorry, but you need to practice Kata. No one ever said it was for defense. Any true Martial Artist will agree. Bruce Lee? Please do some research and read what our true MA ancestor have to say about Kata. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/rolleyes.gif[/IMG]


Bonzai

Bruce lee only lost one fight his whole life,and that was before he became a martial artist. Probly the best Martial artist/fighter in our time!!!!


[This message has been edited by schanne (edited 02-27-2004).]
[/QUOTE]
Kata is the essance of combat. Each technique not only hurts, disrubts, etc.
but also sets your opponent up for the next move. when you think of kata you can
think of it as a template of combat techniques, and strategies. If the Bunkai you learn is sh*t than I agree with you, but when you learn life preservation Bunkai it is totally different. The kata gives you the oppertunity to defend or attack then from there you have the ability to take the lead.

Now this makes total sense to me, Thank you,

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#105357 - 02/27/04 12:57 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
goldencrane Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 432
Loc: Kansas City Kansas USA
Simply put Kata will make you a better Fighter. It won't do it by itself.

Brian I see that you are obviously a Bruce Lee fan. We all are in our own way, ( although he was not and is not GOD ). If you dig a little deeper in your "Bruce Lee history" you would know that even he was a "kata guy" as you put it! It was'nt untill he mastered his art that he started disecting it!!!

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#105358 - 02/27/04 02:36 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Bossman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
Quote: >>ButI say again if Kata was so important to be a great fighter then Bruce Lee would have held it in higher regard.<<

It's a wind up - right [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

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#105359 - 02/27/04 04:11 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Isshinryukid4life Offline
Professional Injury causer

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 2455
Loc: Knoxville.
Brian, This is not an insult.But Im curious to know How long have you been in the MA? =====================================Rgrds Sensei Rhodes. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#105360 - 02/28/04 12:21 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Isshinryukid4life:
Brian, This is not an insult.But Im curious to know How long have you been in the MA? =====================================Rgrds Sensei Rhodes. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG][/QUOTE]

Right around 10 months. Judging by the response that I have gotten on this post, It is obvious that I have ALOT to learn [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Thank you all for your input, Anymore would be appreciated!!!

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#105361 - 03/01/04 01:55 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Don't let them bully you brian. You are correct, to be a fighter you do not need kata.
To be a Martial Artist or stylist, yes,you need kata.

Kata can be worthwile, if you understand it, if you have a teacher who understands it.
There is value in kata, I still dislike them tho'.

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#105362 - 03/02/04 01:16 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
So you all are saying that self defense sets and one-steps are "kata", give me a break. Shadow work is NOT kata, hitting a heavy bag is NOT kata.

Kata is much different than learning a selfdefense vs a grab,choke,kick,punch etc...!
Can you "picture" yourself defending against a grab,choke,kick,punch etc while doing a Kata?? Yes, But we do not train vs these typs of attacks by doing kata. we learn how to defend doing one-steps and self defense etc..
[/QUOTE]

You are right when you say that bagwork and shadow-boxing are not kata. They are training tools like kata is, though. If I do bagwork, shadow-fighting, kobudo and kata will I somehow be a less able fighter?

Most good karate-ka do all those things, plus other supplementary exercises (hojo undo), aerobic training, jiyu kumite (free sparring) or full speed 2-man drills, weightlifting, self-defense drills/*-step sparring, and forms. A good style or stylist will have adequate representations of their styles fighting techniques reflected in the bunkai of each individual sequence in kata. He or she will understand that beyond the patent descriptions of kata as a means to understand form, balance, mushin, maai (combat distance), etc., kata is a veritable catalog of individual defensive and offensive generalities. In other words it puts yourself in the position to execute a myriad of offensive and defnsive options. Repetition of this type of training makes it a part of mental and muscle (physical) memory. Done long enough it becomes an automatic response based on the situation and mindset of the martial artist at the time.

The truth is that kata training is a mystery. It seems so irrelevant when you start out in karate or chuan shu ("kung fu"). Sparring and self defense training seem much more gratifying because you are getting accustomed to a foreign way of addressing combat training. Sparring gives one a sense ("false" to some degree) as to what it is your art allows you to do. It does give the practitioner a sense of the external practicality (albeit limited) of your training. It's results, NOW. What purpose is it serving? To teach one how to fight or give one a shallow semblance of self-preservation? This is why beginners seem to hate kata and enjoy sparring. With time the spirit of the thing will reveal itself to you. To respect this eventuality is to respect your teacher, your time invested and your overall ability to judge what is right for you.

Knowing karate doesn't mean you understand what the arts kata truly represent. There are thousands of so-called BBs of karate out there. Probably only 20 % or so understand what karate/kata training is and can do for you.

Conveying the message of your system through kata takes decades of diligent training AND study, from a teacher-pupil perspective and from a singular vantage point. Personalizing the techniques to fit your being while preserving the catalog of philosophies and strategies inherent in the ryu is the ultimate aim of traditional arts. This is done almost solely through the understanding of what your kata are teaching.

So what I'm trying to say is in order to learn what kata is truly about a sensei or sifu has to understand what it is his arts forms entail, and have the ability to convey that message to the student. If your sensei is doing weak forms, ones with too much "drift", then your are right. That kata serves no true fighting purpose at all. Additionally, if you don't practice your kata in segments, through 2-person drills then it will be hard to apply them in the real world. Kata can be one-, two-, three-step sparring and self-defense drills too. That's how I train in it, at least.

Bruce Lee was a good forms practitioner. He learned Wing Chun for about four years and then he stopped. Wing Chun is an art that takes at least a decade of learning in order to begin to use it to its fullest. It is lacking in some ranges, but it is a very solid, yet minor, Southern style. He obviously was taught fairly well and it got him to JKD heaven [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]. Without it would he have been the same Bruce Lee? Would he understand his own combat weaknesses and know what holes to patch? That foundation gave him a decent vantage point to start from. Would people outside of Hong Kong train in Wing Chun? Without it would we have JKD?

Boxers hand spar, limitedly, for a living. They have rules, protection, referees and rings. It's about money and not self-defense. It is an awesome hand science. Probably the best in terms of hand-eye coordination, speed and endurance, with very effective power distribution. For all its positive points, it does not address the ranges that true karate/MAs does. It allows no leg techs (not even stepping ont the lead foot), grappling with submissions, vital point strikes with the bare hand, elbows, head butts (not legally anyway), groin strikes, throws, etc.. They train hard and all-out for what they do, but it's INTENT is different than karates. As an aside, I do think that every karate-ka should train in boxing for awhile.

Every one can only comment based on their experience with a subject. Fighting is universal and personal, all at the same time. Understanding intent, the original intent of karate, boxing, judo, kickboxing, so on, is the key to understanding their training methodologies.

Have a great week!



[This message has been edited by Dr. Krunkenstein (edited 03-02-2004).]

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#105363 - 03/02/04 08:58 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
mrhubbs Offline
Member

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 418
Loc: Carmel, NY 10512
There are many valid criticisms of kata as a means for training "fighters." (I agree with nekogami about the difference between a fighter and martial artist or stylist, as he put it.) I enjoy kata as part of my training, but I recognize that I can improve my ring and street abilities without them.

My biggest objection to your line of thinking, Brian, is the use of Bruce Lee as a barometer for what is valuable in the arts.

There is no doubt that Bruce Lee was a talented man both mentally and physically. He was a progressive thinker. Having said that, he was not unbeatable or unstoppable. He did NOT have all the answers and (IMO) would have been soundly thrashed by more martial artists than fans of kung fu cinema would like to admit.

Unfortunately, I think that some members of our community have taken a man who may very well have been an outstanding martial artist/athlete and turned him into some sort of god...a martial messiah, if you will.

Please don't make that mistake...of anyone.

David

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#105364 - 03/02/04 09:41 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by mrhubbs:
There is no doubt that Bruce Lee was a talented man both mentally and physically. He was a progressive thinker. Having said that, he was not unbeatable or unstoppable. He did NOT have all the answers and (IMO) would have been soundly thrashed by more martial artists than fans of kung fu cinema would like to admit.

David
[/QUOTE]

Blasphemer!! Heretic!!!
You must be hunted down and cleansed of your evil!!!
We will have to tie you down and force you to watch Longstreet, the green hornet, and enter the dragon over and over again while chanting,"Be water, be water." [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

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#105365 - 03/04/04 11:56 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
chinto01 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/04
Posts: 102
Brian it appears to me that you underestimate the value of kata in your training. Kata is the mother of karate is what some people believe. Without kata karate is just a bunch of punches and kicks. While I agree with you that Bruce Lee was a great martial artist however I feel that he was not the final authority on the use of kata in a real situation. Kata is the means by which a teacher passes on his knowledge to a student. It is also a way for a style to maintain the forms which the founders thought were important. Each kata holds in it self -defense techniques. Thechniques were put together in a series for the student to practice. Over time the student will become proficient with these techniques and begin to apply them. It is important to remember also that these techniques will need to be slightly modified to each self -defense situation. From kata kumite drills are derived also. Bruce Lee demonstarted he technique in a controlled enviroment where the variables were minimal. It would be interesting to see what would happen if approached in a real situation. Please do not dismiss kata yet as there is a ton of knowledge in them. And once you find that you will have opened up to a completely new method of training.

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#105366 - 03/04/04 01:47 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
goldencrane Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 432
Loc: Kansas City Kansas USA
Brian,

" Kata gives you all the answers, it up to you to find the questions "

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#105367 - 03/05/04 09:52 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
goju Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/23/03
Posts: 18
Loc: Canada
Brian I suggest you gain a few more years in the arts before you start lipping about kata..

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#105368 - 03/10/04 09:25 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
Maybe a a good question is why so many systems use kata?

If you make a list of extent systems that use kata and a list of those that don't you will find that the kata list is much longer.

Since most of the systems that use kata are pretty old--they date back to when martial arts were not hobbies, but done to protect your life.
The very fact that they still exsist seems to support that kata do work.
Otherwise they would have disappered.

(Of course the oldest extent MA is Shou Chou (sp) a form of Chinese wrestling that uses punchs and kicks as well--I don't think it uses kata)

I think that kata, at base serve as a excellent "tool kit" of techniques.

One of a number of training methods that complement each other.

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#105369 - 03/14/04 12:48 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Kata...repeating movements is pointless.

Studying it's movements is worth it.

I used to think like some of you...

It's worth it just be patient.

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#105370 - 04/10/04 10:10 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
danielsan Offline
Stranger

Registered: 04/07/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Ridgewood, NJ, USA
Perhaps it may have been mentioned but i think of kata as 100% needed for everything. They are the building blocks, the baby steps to developing instinct and technique alike, both in the dojo and in the street.
Think of kata as the controled environment, where everyone can learn. The sign of a true master is when they take the katas, and harmonize them with their own self to improve their abilities. You could not fight without kata.
To fight without kata is to put some novice against an expert and say, "win!" Kata is not a fight, or war manual. It's a schoolbook to teach learners. when one spars, they are interns, and when they survive on the street, then the have "earned their paycheck."
Forgive the chesey analogy. Thats all i have to say.
danielsan

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#105371 - 04/11/04 12:03 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Here we go again. In a sense I think Bruce Lee did as much of a dis-service as a service in his quotes about kata. I think too many people read into what he is saying then what he actually meant. Also, there a very few people who are at the same level that Bruce Lee was at when he made the statements. How can you be free of form, if you have no form to be free of? The Yin and Yang philosophy would indicate that in order to be formless, one must have some sort of form to begin with. I see Kata as being a necessity, if not to learn from, but to vary from. In order to be totally free from kata, one must know kata extensively(I think anyway). Ed Parker of American Kempo said that learning basics were like learning ABC's, and that combinations are the words we create. then kata must be the sentences and the thoughts of our art.In my school we teach form, vs function. So all students must practice their basics and learn form. However we also teach self-defense(function) in which the form must be amended to become funtional. I can't imagine how the basics of a person would be without some sort of form or kata. MY Sensei use to say "any collection of movements are Kata, whether its a series of Martial Movements, a dance or even putting on your clothes." My interpretation of what Bruce Lee said is this, at the advanced stages of your training, SET TECHNIQUE is not needed, but rather a reaction to the action that has been presented to you. Being free of from to me is not being locked into certain techniques. But you must have a well to draw from and a bse to grow from. this is where form is important.

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#105372 - 04/11/04 04:06 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
kakushiite Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
I believe we should expect Brian’s perspective to be common among many karate students.

In my view, the core of the problem is the rate at which kata are introduced in many systems, where a new kata is taught to a beginner student every three of four months. In many Shotokan systems, after four years of training, a student is likely to have learned up to 15 kata.

How does this compare with how kata was practiced one hundred years ago. We can all learn from Funakoshi’s writing in the master text.

“In the past, it was expected that about three years were required to learn a single kata, and it was usual that even an expert of considerable skill would only know three or at the most five kata, Thus, in short, it was felt that a superficial understanding of many kata was of little use. The aim of training reflected the precept expressed by the wards, “Although the doorway is narrow, go deeply inward,” I, too, studied for ten years to really learn the three Tekki forms.”

(He then goes on to advocate a new way of more forms, that “one might well reconsider the practice of becoming deeply engrossed in very few forms.” It can be argued that this shift in emphasis was part of an effort to transform karate as an effective self-defense system into more of an art form. Hence, our predicament today.)

It is important to remember that when Funakoshi refers to the time he studied under Itosu, students were expected to train every day for 2 hours. (Itosu’s 3rd Precept, as translated in Nagamine’s “Tales of Okinawa’s Great Masters’)

Let’s do a comparison.
Itosu’s students: 1 kata every three years (3 (years) x 365 (days) x 2 (hours/day) = ~2000 hours)

Average student today: 1 kata every 4 months (4 (months) x 8 (times/month) x 1.5 hours/day) = ~50 hours)

If kata repetition during dojo training were the same today, as it was 100 years ago, then for every kata repetition done today, students 100 years ago would have done 40. But it is quite arguable that in Itosu’s time, there was a much heavier emphasis on kata repetition, since today there has been a shift towards kumite techniques and practice. If 100 years ago, the emphasis were more than twice what it is today, then that ratio would be closer to 100 to 1.

If you really want to make movements automatic, so that they are done almost at an unconscious level, with great speed and power, you really need massive repetitions. That’s the way kata was practiced 100 years ago. That is not typically how it is practiced today.

It can also be argued, that in most dojos, serious repetition of kata applications, with partners, is simply not part of the curriculum. We continually hear of students being told to be patient and that applications will be taught at a higher rank. But at the higher rank are so many more kata, that useful applications to many kata movements are rarely practiced, if at all.

No wonder we have students today with such a negative view of the utility of kata. They are given neither the knowledge, nor the opportunity to do the repetitions needed to make the knowledge work.


[This message has been edited by kakushiite (edited 04-11-2004).]

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#105373 - 04/12/04 05:33 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. Krunk-n-stein Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 120
Loc: here nor there
Outstanding take kakushite! I agree with you, and Funakoshi, completely.

Massive repetition is the "ki". Kata, kata, kata...

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#105374 - 04/13/04 10:46 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Stampede Offline
Lord of the Kazoo

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 967
Loc: El Dorado, AR
Excellent post, excellent point.

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#105375 - 04/18/04 05:41 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Kakushi-master Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 6
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Many people have been misled by Bruce Lee. If you are sucked into his atittude and mentality then you sure are misled. Bruce Lee was not as big as the movies made him sound. (used to be my idol for the longest time). A true martial artist would not carry himself with such extreme of ego.
The bragging and cockiness belongs to the boxers and WWF type fighters. And simply should have no place in a real martial art dojo.

And KATA?

Sure boxers or kick boxers don’t practice kata, but they also are not near as WELL ROUNDED as traditional karate experts are. (this I have seen with my own eyes).
Look at how jackie Chan for example moves. His versitility, co-ordination and special fighting skills come from kata type exercises and not from punching bags. (I know that he also is an actor but... I think you understand what I mean)

Those who don’t enjoy kata and don’t see the relations between it’s practice and effectiveness in self defense have probably had poor instruction, or perhaps have just read about kata in a library for 10 minutes. Once you witness what lies within kata, which only instructors trained in certain ways can teach you, you will be amazed. And I am sure you will find new respect for it.

Keep in mind there is not many qualified karate instructors out there whom have the ability to demonstrate the kata applications and show their Full Potential.

I was well over 10 years into my training before I had my eyes opened and discovered the reason for every little move in the katas. And since then I enjoy my training 10 times more!

I do understand however that learning kata after kata, and knowing more katas does not mean much. One who knows 15 katas is not necessarily a better fighter than one who knows only 5. The question is ... do you know each kata really well. Not only to perform but to APPLY.

Also lets not forget that without kata, most challenges that we are presented with in our training would be lost. And chances are by being left with only sparring, session after session, most of us would be simply BORED with our training perhaps 6 months down the road.

OSS

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#105376 - 04/19/04 03:50 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. Krunk-n-stein Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 120
Loc: here nor there
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kakushi-master:


OSS
[/QUOTE]

"OSS"- forerunner to the CIA- "CHARLATANS IN ACTION".

Self-promoted to Shihan, huh?

I think the main point is that you should do kata that is structurally and fundamentally sound. If you are doing the long, and wide stance variety I doubt the SD inherent in its original Okinawan form will be present. If you do Shotokan or another schoolkid hybrid you may be missing the point. That Jackie Chan analogy was kind of weak, too.

Jackie was part of the "Opera" where kids are forced through violence and torture to become superior acrobats and gymnasts. The skills you see him display are a result of everything he was put through, a tiny portion of that being, quan or kata. He is a trained circus boy.

Now training your students to do the bunkai and movements of one form is silly. Especially if that form is a Kusanku variant. Kusanku? That form is much too advanced to the intermediate, let alone rookie, karate-ka. 2 forms a year will suffice nowadays. Only forms that have logical form and the techs intact. Most Japanese karate doesn't have this. Even the Kobayashi forms are a little "MODIFIED". Just look at the stances, and the overemphasis on goho. Those more modern kata are for looks and physical fitness.

In order to a true BB in Okinawan karate you have to know at least 5 kata. I mean you could have a 1 kata system, but that would limit what you were learning from kata. There are different lessons in each form. Passai does not teach the same techs and lessons as Kusanku, but is just as important, especially to understand advanced tuite.

Anyway, if you are the same "hidden" fist guy, I tend to like your philosophy on training, except for the one kata drilling stuff. Later.

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#105377 - 04/20/04 10:14 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
xmusashi17 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Pa, USA
I read somewhere about this topic. They said that people mis-understood what Bruce Lee said. He acutally didnt say that Kata is pointless. He said that Kata is like the alphabet, you must learn the alphabet before learning how to make words and sentances. You must learn and practice the techniques through kata before being able to fight. Thanks.
-X

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#105378 - 04/22/04 12:43 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Lokkan-Do Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 1411
Loc: Ontario, Canada
[QUOTE]:
Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!![/QUOTE]

Duh!!! How long did it take for you to figure that out?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
I agree with Bruce Lee when he said "Kata is pointless, when learning to fight".
BR
[/QUOTE]

I agree

[QUOTE] Raul thank you for your input, but not trying to sound "ignorant". If Kata is so important in teaching a person how to fight, then why don't Boxers or Muay Thai fighters have Kata. [/QUOTE]

That's because it's not important...to teach you to fight and not necessary.

However, if wre to come in here and say Kata is pointless I would have to disagree.

Kata is like a book. It offers lessons in theory, allows you to examine yourself, develops Ki (internal energy), balance, posture, contraction, relaxation, speed, reflexes, health, breathing, fluidity (some of which can be acheived today with modern training equipment)...It has many benefits, but it doesn't teach you practical fighting.

There some people out there that think if one was approached with a knife kata practioners would bow and annouce Heian Shodan...LMAO


Warm regards, Lok

p.s.
Read the articles on this site http://www.iainabernethy.com/articles/article_home.htm

[This message has been edited by Lokkan-Do (edited 04-22-2004).]

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#105379 - 04/23/04 01:06 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
I am new so I will give a little info, I am a Professor of Eastern Philosophy I was on my schools boxing team from first grade through age 16, have trained in karate-do since 1988 so my experience is limited by only 16 years of karate training but it seems everyone on this discussion is missing the point of Kata. In the Asian world view meaning Confucian and Taoist philosophy, everyone learns roughly the same way and every art or science works by the same set of rules. When you learn to play a musical instrument you must first learn to play the notes as they appear on paper with no deviation from tradition, when you have perfected your skills at playing the notes you have the option of improvisation. The Confucian element of martial arts is strict adherance to tradition doing the same things over and over until they become natural. Kata teaches proper hip movement. proper stance, balance dexterity, it basically tranforms your body into a body that can learn to fight. The Taoist element is summed up in wu wei acting spontaneously with no conscious effort and no care for the outcome. To train in Kata without training to fight is just dancing, but to train in fighting without Kata is silly looking. Remember do not misinterpret the meaning of Kata because it is comonly associated with preset routines, anything that prepares your body to learn to fight is Kata, lifting weights punching the bag, stretching, all represent the meaning of Kata, but also don't forget that Kata is never an end unto itself the real purpose always behind kata is to prepare the body to learn to fight.

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#105380 - 04/23/04 06:38 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. Krunk-n-stein Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 120
Loc: here nor there
Kata is a form of "Sacred Geometry". Its efficacy is an ancient mystery. I'll leave it at that.

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#105381 - 04/23/04 08:51 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
ryute kempo Offline
Stranger

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 4
Loc: broken arrow OK 74011
Kata is crucial to real life self defense.
(if you truly uderstand kata)
Pick any ancient original kata that has not
been "americanized" and has it's true
movements and I dare say you can find a
a self defense technique to fit any
situation.
The problem is understanding the kata and
the meaning or meanings of the movements.
Every move can have 2-3-4 different meanings
depending on the situation or interpretation
I am still training and learning to fully
comprehend what is hidden from us(as I am
sure most of us are).
The ancient masters who developed the kata
did so to practice there technique without
giving them away.
Our job is to put the puzzle together so
these ancient techniques are not lost in
all the hype of tournament fighting
and flashy 'empty' kata.

Train smart.

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#105382 - 04/26/04 10:48 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Any Instructor that is worth his or her weight in salt will teach the application of movements within Kata. My point was simply that if you pay attention to Funakoshi who said that you should practice Kata untill you can't stand up then recover and start again you would realize how much strength and endurance it develops. People with bug muscles can't who cant punch hard have not developed proper body mechanics or strengthened tendons enough to throw a punch that has avveleration. Look at Wladimir Klitchko he has big arms but he punches with his arm only not his total body, his brother Vlad who is smaller punches with his total body from the tip of the toes to the tip of the fist. There is a reason why boxers say when a knockout punch hits that the puncher got his butt into the punch. Bruce lee in his criticism of Kata merely meant do not limit your thinking to a specific structure. Use structure to develop your body but then use imagination and improvisation in combat.

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#105383 - 04/26/04 05:41 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Bruce lees criticism was target at those who limited their thinking to preset movements, although he seemed in his book to be setting up a straw man. Karate never teaches that kata is sufficient unto itself to train a fighter. Any teacher worth his or her weight in salt will teach the many applications of kata but because most westerners don't want to be injured in training they rarely practice those techniques at full speed with a resistant opponent.

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#105384 - 04/26/04 05:42 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Sorry I didn't know there were two pages so I almost posted the same thing twice.

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#105385 - 04/29/04 08:27 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
ken harding Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 721
Loc: UK
Kata has it all.

If you don't see the uses of parts of kata then you have a lousy teacher and probably can't be bothered to see what's in front of your face.

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#105386 - 04/30/04 10:34 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
shinkick Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 6
Loc: los angeles, ca U.S.A
Wow, tough room. Well Brian, you really want to think about what you want to do. If you just want to get in the ring, defend yourself againest most attackers, and stay in shape then you prob don't need kata. But... if you want to defend yourself AND your wife or family, defend yourself when you're 80, and unlock the secrets to the many great arts out there (which I can tell you from much experience will save your ass on the street) then you should invest some time in the trad arts. Maybe not tomorrow, but one day. Also if you dig a little deeper, you will find that Muay Thai and Bando do have their way of doing kata and it is great training. I have know great ring fighters that are not as great in the street and very tough street fighters how will not last in a ring. It is not the physical training, it is the mind training. Just a thought.

I will leave Bruce Lee out of this one.

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#105387 - 05/08/04 10:20 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by goldencrane:
Brian

Hmmm... you tell Fumio Demura Ed Parker that Kata/forms have no meaning.. and they will laugh you right out of the martial arts calling you a true novice.. basics teach the base move kata puts them in a flowing pattern it is up to you to modify the technique to suit the given situation.. Heinan Neidan... technique set 1 is a primary defense against a flying side kick or a yamazucki double U punch... an oppent who is behind you can then be dropped with a knife edge kick to the knee...
blocks are not just blocks but strikes as well and after time you will see that kicks are not just kicks but sweeps and throws as well...

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#105388 - 05/09/04 02:56 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


the key thing is not to be too stuck on the good or the bad points about the relevance of kata. don't be "stuck" on ANYTHING. It may be very possible to be a great martial artist even without kata- maybe for many the great trick could be to discover how to do that. If you can't, then perhaps kata has become too important because the concept itself may have made you mentally static- and that may be the worst thing for any artist. good luck to all fellow martial artists

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#105389 - 05/09/04 02:52 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Here is a thought.....what about styles that have no kata, or no forms, are they less Martial Artist than those that do? If you like training in say Modern Arnis, there is no set kata or forms, yet there is striking, locking, throwing etc. However there are flow drills and 2 people drills that could be viewed as forms, but technically aren't. So can any series of movements be kata. Judo has kata, though most don't practice it today, it has a set series of movements, but is not kata in the sense we talk about it.Aikido has no empty hands kata, but there are 2 people movements that could be viwed as kata. So is not kata what you make it? If you wake up and shower shave brush your teeth, put your socks on then finish dressing, comb your hair and get a cup of coffee, and do this everyday, the same way, isn't that kata of sorts? My point is that there are styles with no kata that are strong systems, yet you can view what they do and certain movements and drills could be viewed as kata. So I think kata is a drill, a learning tool and while it might not be a traditional kata, we all have series of movements in our systems that can be viewed as kata. Kata is what you make it.

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#105390 - 05/10/04 08:23 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


what sensei lou says makes sense to me. kata, infact all of karate is what you make it. it's the labeling that can kill it, or, slow you down. art shouldn't be slowed down or made less by the title. kata could be, but is not necessarily an important component of karate- it's just a vehicle for showing the meaning of how to express the art- the power, the form and the focus- that's what's important- but the kata is not a religion- it's the way to show the underlying meaning of it all. respects, dean

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#105391 - 05/12/04 09:18 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Kata or forms, are more important than people give them credit for. While simply learning a kata may not teach a person how to effectively knock an opponent out, it is, however, the backbone of the art itself. It is very possible to teach a person a particular art without teaching kata, but it would be like peanut butter wihout jelly. The two go hand in hand. I don't think kata was ever supposed to teach any one how to fight, though some dojos may preach that, I don't know. I do know that some dojos put more emphasis on kata than others. Kata is simply biulding blocks for a good foundation of movements, in a nutshell in my opinion. [QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
Raul thank you for your input, but not trying to sound "ignorant". If Kata is so important in teaching a person how to fight, then why don't Boxers or Muay Thai fighters have Kata.

Im not saying that Kata does not have its place, Im saying it wont teach you how to be a fighter!!
[/QUOTE]

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#105392 - 05/13/04 08:31 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Kotetsu Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 314
Loc: Hollis, NH, USA
Kata teaches you how moves flow together. And are a better way of remembering all the things you should have. When I am trying to remember all the strikes i know, i go through my kata in my head. Besides, some people just don't see certain applications for movements, and they lose alot, that's why you talk to other people about kata.

CXT: the spelling Shuai Jiao, and it is a part of the San Shou(free fighting) set. And the San Shou has katas. That's the information i have.
-Louis

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#105393 - 05/13/04 02:00 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Kata teaches you how to transition from stance to stance, technique to technique and aids in teaching you how to put techniques together. It will help sthrengthen stabelizer muscles and helps commit movements to muscle memory. Just like karate, just because you are a boxer doesn't mean you can defend in a real situation. Are kata needed 100% to learn to fight? No. Are they another key to get you there? Yes. There are several techniques out there that are very pointless in a real fight. You learn them in order to teach your body to put together combination smoothly. Without repitition either from kata, one step or shadow boxing you are not going to commit it to muscle memmory and make it second nature. If it's not second nature your not going to react properly and get clocked.

Kata=good.
Training 3 hours a week for three years and thinking you are qualified to judge if kata or any other training tool is pointless= BAD.

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#105394 - 05/13/04 02:02 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Kata teaches you how to transition from stance to stance, technique to technique and aids in teaching you how to put techniques together. It will help sthrengthen stabelizer muscles and helps commit movements to muscle memory. Just like karate, just because you are a boxer doesn't mean you can defend in a real situation. Are kata needed 100% to learn to fight? No. Are they another key to get you there? Yes. There are several techniques out there that are very pointless in a real fight. You learn them in order to teach your body to put together combination smoothly. Without repitition either from kata, one step or shadow boxing you are not going to commit it to muscle memmory and make it second nature. If it's not second nature your not going to react properly and get clocked.

Kata=good.
Training 3 hours a week for three years and thinking you are qualified to judge if kata or any other training tool is pointless= BAD.

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#105395 - 05/13/04 03:08 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Stampede Offline
Lord of the Kazoo

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 967
Loc: El Dorado, AR
If someone kills this thread, I'll give everyone a dollar.

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#105396 - 05/14/04 12:40 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
VJ Offline
Member

Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 146
Loc: San Diego, CA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by goju:
Brian I suggest you gain a few more years in the arts before you start lipping about kata..[/QUOTE]

If he does get a "few more years" in the arts and still feels the same then what goju?

Brian, your opinion on kata is neither right or wrong. Kata can benefit you but Bruce Lee didn't see that. He was a great Martial Artist revolutionary and pissed off people with his viewpoint. BUT it was his viewpoint based on his studies. Give kata a try and then see if it is of any use to you. It is the only true way to figure out if it works.

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#105397 - 05/18/04 03:32 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Lokkan-Do Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 1411
Loc: Ontario, Canada
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
I agree with Bruce Lee when he said "Kata is pointless, when learning to fight". " Its like learning how to swim on the sand".

I don't think Kata has any purpose when you are trying to defend yourself. If an attacker throws a left hook at you, you are not gonna break out into chunji or dosan etc...

BR
[/QUOTE]

How long did it take you to figure that out?

Now, kata is not supposed to be used in a real situation!!!!!!!!!! Did you know that?

[This message has been edited by Lokkan-Do (edited 05-21-2004).]

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#105398 - 05/24/04 11:08 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok we have had the "Kata is pointless" comment and also the "Kata is everything" comment, I think we all agree that it is a tradition and as such open to critisim as all traditions are by the "next generation" to come along.

So do we look back with nostalgia or convert the tradition to modern thinking?

Kata is a study aide, helpful to retain techniques across the years. But you could also use it to "hide your training"

How many classes teach basics?
Everyone does..
How many people find basics boring?
Everyone does..
So kata is a way of "hiding" repetitions
How many time as a beginner did you look up at the senior grades and see them doing Kata and wish you were passed all these basics (punches , kicks and blocks) and into the good stuff (punches , kicks and blocks).
It's all in the mindset. Focus your mind on the moment and then everything will have value.

And to quote Bruce "Focus on the finger and miss all the heavenly glory"

Spend all your time arguing when you could be training [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

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#105399 - 06/09/04 12:02 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
KSR1219 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 12
I posted my opinions on kata already.
http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/Forum10/HTML/000109.html

Woohoo.

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#105400 - 06/09/04 12:23 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
KSR1219 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 12
[QUOTE]Originally posted by kakushiite:
I believe we should expect Brian’s perspective to be common among many karate students.

In my view, the core of the problem is the rate at which kata are introduced in many systems, where a new kata is taught to a beginner student every three of four months. In many Shotokan systems, after four years of training, a student is likely to have learned up to 15 kata.

How does this compare with how kata was practiced one hundred years ago. We can all learn from Funakoshi’s writing in the master text.

“In the past, it was expected that about three years were required to learn a single kata, and it was usual that even an expert of considerable skill would only know three or at the most five kata, Thus, in short, it was felt that a superficial understanding of many kata was of little use. The aim of training reflected the precept expressed by the wards, “Although the doorway is narrow, go deeply inward,” I, too, studied for ten years to really learn the three Tekki forms.”

(He then goes on to advocate a new way of more forms, that “one might well reconsider the practice of becoming deeply engrossed in very few forms.” It can be argued that this shift in emphasis was part of an effort to transform karate as an effective self-defense system into more of an art form. Hence, our predicament today.)

It is important to remember that when Funakoshi refers to the time he studied under Itosu, students were expected to train every day for 2 hours. (Itosu’s 3rd Precept, as translated in Nagamine’s “Tales of Okinawa’s Great Masters’)

Let’s do a comparison.
Itosu’s students: 1 kata every three years (3 (years) x 365 (days) x 2 (hours/day) = ~2000 hours)

Average student today: 1 kata every 4 months (4 (months) x 8 (times/month) x 1.5 hours/day) = ~50 hours)

If kata repetition during dojo training were the same today, as it was 100 years ago, then for every kata repetition done today, students 100 years ago would have done 40. But it is quite arguable that in Itosu’s time, there was a much heavier emphasis on kata repetition, since today there has been a shift towards kumite techniques and practice. If 100 years ago, the emphasis were more than twice what it is today, then that ratio would be closer to 100 to 1.

If you really want to make movements automatic, so that they are done almost at an unconscious level, with great speed and power, you really need massive repetitions. That’s the way kata was practiced 100 years ago. That is not typically how it is practiced today.

It can also be argued, that in most dojos, serious repetition of kata applications, with partners, is simply not part of the curriculum. We continually hear of students being told to be patient and that applications will be taught at a higher rank. But at the higher rank are so many more kata, that useful applications to many kata movements are rarely practiced, if at all.

No wonder we have students today with such a negative view of the utility of kata. They are given neither the knowledge, nor the opportunity to do the repetitions needed to make the knowledge work.


[This message has been edited by kakushiite (edited 04-11-2004).]
[/QUOTE]

In the past, people learned a single kata in a year? Hm. Last time I checked, training periods in the traditional Japanese martial arts during the Muromachi period was about half a year. Yagyu Munenori learned Shinkage-ryu in a single summer, anyway. Same with Takeda Shingen and Baba Norifusa. There are old certificates out there (by old, I mean centuries old - the Japanese LOVE paperwork) that say "[so and so] is hereby awarded menkyo kaiden in [such and such] in the year of [blah], after rigorous training since summer of this year of [blah]" It's not because they learned rapidly. And it's not because they studied a single kata. It's because they probably marched right into battle ASAP. They didn't have time to linger in a single area under any specific sensei. Funakoshi was wrong... The warriors of old... Samurai, anyway... Didn't have kata until the late Muromachi period. They learned from experience. Kata is all we have left from that... And they all tie into one kata or a set of kata in any given old school. The ougi, or okugi. They all express the same ideals, the same concepts. I learn a new kata once every week or so... Or more. I learned my first set of 5 kata in about 3 days. Learn from it. It's not that complicated. That's all I have to say about that.

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#105401 - 06/09/04 10:37 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. Krunk-n-stein Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 120
Loc: here nor there
KSR1219: You must do Kenpo or a Japanese style of karate. On Okinawa it was not uncommon for a student to train 1 kata for over 3 years. I don't know how the japanese did it, but Okinawan karate kata is and was the ryu and primary method of keeping a ryuha's philosophies intact.

Some folks learn quicker than others. I learned my first 5 Shorin kata in about 18 months. I mean to where I understood each and every movement, its application possibilities, perfect kamae, fist forms, timing, so on. My sensei says that students like me and my bro are the exception. 1 year/kata is not unreasonable. IMHO.

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#105402 - 06/10/04 02:28 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
KSR1219 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 12
No. I don't practice any type of karate or ryukyu kenpo. I'm a member of Kashima-shinryu kenjutsu, under the true lineage of the shihanke, Seki Fumitake, in Japan (I am aware that there is a guy at the Shiseikan that claims to teach Kashima-shinryu. Inaba claims to teach KSR, but he's a bullshit artist. I'm sure it's just fine, but he has no right to claim that it's affiliated in any way with Kashima-shinryu), under my sensei, Dr. Karl Friday. Though we have a little Kashima-kenpo in our curriculum... In Kashima-shinryu, we study all sorts of things. We have kenjutsu, naginatajutsu, sôjutsu, battôjutsu, shurikenjutsu, reiki no hô, jûjutsu, kumiwaza gusoku dori, Kashima kenpô, bôjutsu, jôjutsu and kaikenjutsu. Lots of stuff... Really fun, but lots of hard work. And don't let anything I say reflect on the opinions of my sensei. It's my peronal view on the subject of kata, independant of Kashima-shinryu. Anyway, ciao.

[This message has been edited by KSR1219 (edited 06-10-2004).]

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#105403 - 06/10/04 03:53 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Littlpond Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 46
Hello to all,
Two people earlier in the thread, I feel, touched on one of the major benifits of kata. Yes kata is a library of techinques as has been stated many times. However I feel that kata is a very valuable training tool for the mind. As in when we spar do partner drills etc, at some level we hold back from committing full power and with the intent to really hurt or maim our partner. it is just not acceptable or prudent to do so. However when we do kata there is no reason to hold back at any level. The idea is to shift into the mindset that this is a real self defense situation and it is for life or death. With this type of conviction kata takes on a whole different meaning. And repeating the process of shifting from our everyday mindset to a fighting mindset gets easier and easier to do. Until we can do it at will. This at will stuff is in my opinion the highest level of training. For example, I have seen more than my share of fights. and they usually roughly follow a pattern of gradual escalation. Say from words to shouting to pushing to all out spitting mad. It takes time to "work" through these levels of aggitation. Kata is an attempt to short cut this process where we can shift very rapidly from our waiting-at-the-bus-stop mindset to one that is ready to go at it. And in my opinion that is the real value of kata.....

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#105404 - 06/12/04 01:02 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
redtiger Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 14
Loc: Canada
It seems that complaints about kata are common in many dojos. Is it the stylistic movements that people are finding to be "useless"? I don't know... when I practise on my own, doing combinations, I find that stylistic moves sometimes just drop in there.

What's great about this forum is that people are happy to disagree without getting personal. Well, I'd like to offer the following: When you do a kata that you've been practising, and you do it to the level you were hoping, there is an extreme sense that you've accomplished something. I think that's an important component of your martial arts training. I think it sticks with you in sparring and in real life situations. Depending on the kata, you may very well be able to use what you've learned. Also you may be mentally prepared to face multiple attackers due to kata, which is a real plus [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#105405 - 06/12/04 09:38 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Good Morning Brian Mullen:

<<If Kata is so important in teaching a person how to fight, then why don't Boxers or Muay Thai fighters have Kata.

Ever seen an OLD "Thai" fighter? How about an OLD "boxer" the type and kind that you are talking about??? How do you account for this... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] ???

Kata in its simplest, most fundamental form is about building muscle memory, instinct...
so that we have a method to examine, explore and hone our skills.

Kata is NOT about fighting... it is about surviving, and staying alive. There is a serious difference between these two. You can get into a fight, and survive, the attacker should NOT survive intact by kata.

<<Im saying it wont teach you how to be a fighter!!

[IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] Ummmmngh..... why on earth would I/anyone else waste our time learning to be that??? What possible value, much less INTELLIGENT people need the skill of fighting? The world I live in, the place I have a family, a job... this is NOT something I am seeking!!! Do you :confusion: ?

Foolish, immature men fight... ~adults~ do everything possible to avoid one at *** costs.

Jeff

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#105406 - 06/17/04 11:17 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
Thank you all for your input....

I have been training now for a little over a year, and I see some of the things comeing into the light, I still feel that if your sole purpose is to be a great fighter, Kata are not important.
But if you want to be a great martial artist kata are pretty important.

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#105407 - 06/17/04 01:45 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
It is not so much about simply performance of the kata, but more about understanding the principles behind the kata. All great fighters understand the exact same principles that are contained in kata, they simply acquired that knowledge in a different way. Kata is a system to learn and develop certain skills and principles of fighting. Just because you can perform a kata does not mean you understand these things. Although you do not have to know kata to learn these fighing principles you can learn them through kata. The great thing about kata is that if you understand the principles contained within one kata you have the ability to fight in any situation. The problem is people confuse kata performance with true kata training.

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#105408 - 07/06/04 12:16 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Toudiyama Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 229
Loc: Zaandam, Netherlands
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
Thank you all for your input....

I have been training now for a little over a year, and I see some of the things comeing into the light, I still feel that if your sole purpose is to be a great fighter, Kata are not important.
But if you want to be a great martial artist kata are pretty important.
[/QUOTE]

Now this is where the difference lies between "modern" arts and TMA, TMA don't train fighters, a fight is a selfdefence situation gone wrong
TMA don't train for that, they train to prevent that
Do you want to fight or just defend yourself and your loved ones?

As for Bruce, he thought that training the movents with partner was better than doing them in thin air, but Kata practice should alway have bunkai included, appart from that he didn't object to the movements itself, what he overlooked was that you don't have a trainingspartner all the time and that is the actual use for Kata

One last thing, the form should follow the application not the other way around, if they change it should be because the application has changed not because it fits the style better
Forms like those of Ashihara karate have returned to this principle, with or without partner they are the same, first there were the combinations then came the Kata

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#105409 - 07/28/04 03:34 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bruce Lee would be nothing without his Shaolin Training. Without learning his Katas, he would have never advanced to learn nunchaku, certainly not have learned iron palm,shin,vest training, and would never have been a movie star. The as for boxers, I would put my money on a MA over a champion boxer any day.

A whole form is not used in a fight. If you watch old Jacki Chan and Jet li movies, alot of times they will be saying stuff as they are fighting. They are taking a portion of a Kata and applying it to the situation at hand. I know an attacker isn't going to punch and wait for me to do something back.

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#105410 - 08/02/04 11:05 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


I agree that Kata can be useless since most Sensei fail to understand their application.

If you want to learn to fight quickly and get good fast, go to the wrong part of town, and pick a fight with the baddest dude there. If you survive, you continue to do that every week for about 6 months, at which time if you can still walk, talk, and see out of both eyes, you will be a proficient fighter. :-)

The point of kata, and most karate training, is mental and physical discipline.

Truth is most people in America today will never get into a fight after about 8th grade. Do karate because you want to.

If you need to be able to defend yourself, hire a credentialed instructor at $80 hr, and make them teach you the bare bones of hand-to-hand life saving combat.

Or go the more enjoyable route, and do your kata.

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#105411 - 08/11/04 10:43 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


I knew when I saw this forum that there would be a lot of posts! I think that using focus mits, doing footwork drills, practicing one step sparring, etc. are all "kata" Kata translates as form. Those are all form. Kata is not just a word to denote martial arts techniques. Bruce Lee practiced wooden dummy forms like crazy when he was younger, but then decided to move on to more flowing types of drills. If you do the same thing over and over again it becomes form. A 1,2,3 combonation in boxing is a boxing "form". What boxer doesn't know that one? I think you can use kata or not to develope self defense capabilities; only your intensity and emotional drive matter during training.

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#105412 - 08/21/04 05:05 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Muay Thai have kata

call
"Wai-Kru"
"Yang-3-Khum"
"Rum-4-Tid"

its can call Kata. and same Kata in karate

^^ sorry for bad english -- --"

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#105413 - 08/22/04 03:21 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


As some have already said, kata will not make you a fighter. But a fighter who practices kata will have a greater understanding of their art. Kata is the building block of karate and other martial arts, and I personally believe Bruce Lee to have been ignorant about its use. By this I think he only looked at kata/forms from a 2-demensional way, by taking the moves literally, as one long fight scene, but actually they are a library of techniques that individual moves and combinations can be used. Although a very skilled and knowledgable martial artist, who was also an inovator, I believe him to have also been lacking in knowledge in certain areas. I know he didn't like Japanese martial arts as he was chinese and anti-Japanese, but he said karate is like an iron bar. He was obviously talking about Shotokan, but not all karate is like that. The majority of Okinawan Karate is fluid and flexible, and so are some of the Japanes styles. So before anyone starts saying Bruce Lee said this and that, he did not know everything. A house needs foundations to be built on, in karate, kata are those foundations.

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#105414 - 08/23/04 10:49 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
ken harding Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 721
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:
Thank you all for your input....

I have been training now for a little over a year, and I see some of the things comeing into the light, I still feel that if your sole purpose is to be a great fighter, Kata are not important.
But if you want to be a great martial artist kata are pretty important.
[/QUOTE]


Brian
To be a good fighter maybe kata don't matter. To be great I think they do. A great martial artsist by definition will be a great fighter by definition although this is unlikely to be a competition fighter.
Kata teaches many things if you put the work and time in, technique sure, but body movement, angles of attack and all those blocks and punches aint what they seem either.

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#105415 - 09/07/04 08:43 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


kata sure is pointless... if you don't know the meaning of the kata and it's movents. then it really is of no benifit but if you konw the applications and what the kata is means then it is an essential training tool however it is only one of the tools, alone it is incomplete but combined with sparring and bag work it is truly essential. it teaches you the principles and techniques to enable you to defend yourself.

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#105416 - 11/12/05 06:54 AM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!! [Re: Brian Mullen]
chakuy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 124
we had something like that on the TKD Forum
http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...535850348170ba2
_________________________
"Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength." -Ralph W. Sockman

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#105417 - 11/12/05 04:09 PM Re: Kata has no use in a real situation!!!!!!!!!! [Re: chakuy]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
*BrianS kills the thread once and for all*

chakuy,
Please do not resurrect dead threads unless you have something to contribute to it.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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